Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Concert this Sunday

I am in a concert this Sunday which I think is going to be quite interesting, and I encourage you to come if you are free. I'm ringing with the Choir of All Saints in Brookline. Details:

We'll be singing Mozart's Mass in F Major and Britten's Rejoice in the Lamb. Also being performed (and these are both very exciting) will be Barber's Dover Beach, performed by Robert Honeysucker (who has the most delightful bass voice in Boston) and Poulenc's Organ Concerto in g minor, performed by Barbara Bruns. The conductor, Don Teeters (who is also the director of the Boston Cecilia, and thus the reason I'm in the concert) keeps telling me the Poulenc is utterly amazing, and not to be missed.

It will be at 3 pm on Sunday, March 4, at All Saints Parish in Brookline...and this concert, folks, is...


Yes, a FREE concert! Of high quality! When else can you hear Robert Honeysucker for free? So come on by!

AMC report

I believe in a previous post I mentioned going up to Pinkham Notch in NH to conduct a Mountains and Music weekend. That was the weekend before this past one, and it was a great time.

The big part of the weekend was teaching the singers who signed up Haydn's Paukenmesse. We had three rehearsals, and although we didn't do all of the Credo, just the final fugal bit, the entire thing came together really well. The last time I went up (in Fall 2004) the choir was OK, but this time the choir was great - all the voice parts were strong, and everyone could read, and I even had enough tenors! My friend AG came up and sang part of the soprano solo - I love conducting her, so that was a real treat. And JL, organist and keyboardist supreme, came up to accompany, which was also a treat, since I don't get provided with an accompanist all that often. We performed the mass with the orchestra on Saturday night, and it went really well. It's always good to have your family playing the loudest instruments (Mom on tympani, Dad on trumpet) because you know they'll be watching, and it makes you feel a bit more secure! Then the orchestra conductor, Peter Szep, conducted Beethoven's 8th and the Mendelssohn Midsummer Night's Dream suite, and, as AG said, held them together by sheer force of will, which was extraordinarily instructive to watch (as well as quite amusing!)

Sunday night was a talent show, where we performed PDQ Bach's My Bonnie Lass, She Smelleth in a manner befitting a composer whose music has been rescued from the trash bins behind universities, and my dad and I performed Monty Python's Penultimate Supper sketch (over my mother's objections, but to great acclaim.) Earlier that day I also got to do a bunch of duet singing with AG, which was most fun.

But that was half the weekend - the other half, and the other reason everyone went up to NH, was to tramp around in the snow. As someone who tends not to get along well with winter, it was good to go outside in truly wintery circumstances and enjoy myself. Sunday I went snow-shoeing for the first time, and it was great. Monday morning I was told I didn't need snowshoes, and as a result the half-hour hike was spent with me up to my knees, and sometimes my hips, in snow. Luckily I had a tall guy in front of me to break down the snow, and I could walk in his footsteps - I felt like King Wenceslas's page. But the wind was blowing so hard that day that even if I was just three yards behind him, his footsteps would begin to be filled in. JL danced around me in snowshoes and mocked my staggering progress.

We stopped at the Pearl Izumi outlet on the way back through North Conway, but unfortunately even at the outlet I couldn't afford anything. However, the desk clerk was cute, and quite helpful.

And really, one can't discuss Pinkham Notch without mentioning the food, which (setting aside the corned beef) was great. I had hot chocolate with every single meal. The second dinner we ate I ate so much of the soup (corn chowder) that I couldn't eat the main entree. This made me very sad, but the corn chowder was worth it.

I enjoyed the first time I went up for this Mountains and Music weekend, but I enjoyed this time even more. It was a great experience, and although they have a policy of trying to always be looking for new conductors, I'm hoping they'll ask me back again someday!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Pachelbel Rant

Two links about Pachelbel!

The first one is from my friend Christianne: The Pachelbel Rant! (as featured, YouTube claims, on Dr. Demento.)

And, if you can't get enough, The Taco Bell Canon in D, from my parents. I believe it was originally done by a group at U Mich, but I don't know if that's who is in the video.

Heavy concert weekend!

Hear ye, hear ye! Cappella Clausura has a couple of concerts coming up this weekend, and if you are free, I heartily invite you to come. The title of the concert is: Planctus Mariae: A Medieval Opera, and it's a plainsong drama about Mary at the cross, interspersed with Laudae (congregational praise songs) sung by the choir. More information is in this article in the Newton Tab. And yes, I have a few solos, although I'm not one of the main players in the drama. If you like chant, or monophony, or early music, I think you will really enjoy this concert.


SATURDAY February 10th @ 8:00 PM
at Episcopal Parish of the Messiah in Newton

SUNDAY February 11th @ 7: 00 PM
at Centre for the Arts in Natick, and

SUNDAY March 18th @ 3: 00 PM
at Music at St. Mary's, Boston College

Also on Feb. 10 are:

The Winchester First Annual MadrigalFest, held in Winchester's Town Hall at 7:30 pm.

Schola Cantorum singing a program of White Lamentations, Byrd, and Fayrfax at St Joseph's Church in Providence RI. (401-274-5073 $20/15/8) I was asked to sing in this concert, and was crushed that I had to say no.

And the Westminster Graduate Conducting Recital of LLJ. Good luck, Linda!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

RIP Menotti and Pinkham

Gian Carlo Menotti passed away last week. I recommend listening to the NPR memorial, which covers all his best-known achievements - writing the operas Amahl and the Night Visitors, The Consul, and The Medium, and his founding of the Spoleto Festivals in both Italy and the US.

With musicians, isn't it always better to listen to memorials, rather than read them?

While I'm at it, RIP to Daniel Pinkham, Boston composer, who sadly died in December. Every organist I know went to the funeral, and apparently it was a rather humorous affair, as people shared their often amusing memories. Here is one from my friend J. Lawton:

"One story told during the memorial service went like this: Dan sent for approval an opera libretto he was working on to a certain professor or official; the opera was to deal with Jesus' descent to Hell following the crucifixion. The official responded affirmatively, but asked whether something about "the soul of man" could be rephrased to be more inclusive. Dan responded, "Oh, say that I'm a traditionalist and won't change it." A couple of days later, though, he called the official back, saying he had decided on a couple of changes. He indicated that, first, the word "man" was to be changed to "all"; and second, that the part of Satan, slated for bass-baritone, was to be given to a soprano instead."

Here's an NPR remembrance of Daniel Pinkham, but it's in the middle of the clip, at 6:00 minutes. Sadly, this one doesn't include any musical clips, but it's very interesting nonetheless.